igus Invests in Industry 4.0 and Acquires Sensor Specialist Atronia

Cost-effective series production planned for smart plastics for predictive maintenance

Michael Blass, CEO of igus e-chain Systems, and Carlos Alexandre Ferreira, Manager at Atronia Tailored Systems, are delighted about developing new Industry 4.0 products together. (Source: igus GmbH)

June 6th, 2024 – igus®, a world leader in motion plastics and moving cable management systems, has acquired the majority stake in Portuguese company Atronia Tailored Sensing.

Atronia has been supporting igus in the development of smart plastic sensors since 2016. These sensors are used to monitor the condition of the product, whether it needs to be serviced or even replaced, or whether a problem is occurring. This strategic step aims to expand igus’ market offer for networked plastic components. The goal is to mass-produce Industry 4.0 products and make them accessible to small and medium-sized companies.

Networking, automation, artificial intelligence: Industry 4.0 technology is leading to greater productivity, agility, and system safety around the world. This is why igus has been investing in research and development for years to develop new types of smart plastics – plain bearings, energy chains, and cables that are equipped with sensors and integrated into the Internet of Things. Intelligent predictive-maintenance software calculates optimum maintenance times and alerts technicians in good time via e-mail and text message in the event of critical conditions to prevent expensive system failures.

Strategic decision is to mass-produce sensor products for the Industry 4.0 era

“By acquiring Atronia, we can harmonize the processes, systems, and teams of both companies even better, which will lead to synergies and efficiency gains in the long term,” says igus CEO of e-chain Systems Michael Blass. “This allows us to start series manufacturing for the Industry 4.0 era and make the products accessible to small and medium-sized companies with limited budgets and little experience.”

Carlos Alexandre Ferreira, Manager at Atronia Tailored Systems, adds: “The acquisition of Atronia by igus is a promising partnership that will undoubtedly lead to further breakthrough innovations and improved technology integration.”

The collaboration between igus and Atronia resulted in the EC.W sensor. Mounted on energy chain crossbars, it records the chain’s state and remaining service life. The sensor’s cost-effectiveness and intuitive design have garnered positive customer feedback. The partnership aims to create more trend-setting products in the future.

To learn more about igus solutions for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance, visit: https://www.igus.com/preventive-maintenance

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